The concept of a “Dry January” has developed into an annual tradition for many people, so why don’t you give it a try?
Motivation for going alcohol-free for the first month of the year is driven by many things. For example, some people use it as part of a New Year’s resolution to drink less, while others consider January a way to detox from an overindulgent Christmas holiday period.
The rise of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a noticeable increase in alcohol consumption within the community, which is highlighting the effects that alcohol has on individuals, their families, and society as a whole.
“Dry January” is often marketed as a way to improve health. The benefits of being sober are THAT compelling, that undertaking a “Dry January” could be a good start to adopting a sober lifestyle on a permanent basis.
The benefits of eliminating alcohol consumption are as follows.
Your general health will improve
It’s been well documented that excessive drinking (defined by more than one standard drink per day for women and two for men) is associated with negative health effects such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, not to mention increased risk for diseases such as breast cancer, heart disease and liver problems.
You will sleep better and feel more energetic
Contrary to popular opinion, drinking alcohol can mess with sleeping patterns, which in turn affects energy levels throughout the day. Many participants in “Dry January” challenges report greater energy levels and more clarity of thought.
You may lose weight if that is a goal
One gram of alcohol contains seven calories. A couple of glasses of alcohol can add significant caloric intake in addition to food and may make it easier to gain weight. Conversely, removing alcohol from your life may make it easier to lose weight, particularly in tandem with the increased feelings of energy that also occur.
You may improve your immunity and resistance to illness
The USA’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that excessive alcohol intake can suppress our immune system response. According to the Institute, one evening of heavy drinking can impede the effectiveness of our immune systems. While having a depressed immune system is undesirable at the best of times, it’s particularly problematic during a pandemic event such as COVID-19.
You may change your relationship with yourself and others
Being alcohol-free can have a marked impact on the relationship you have with yourself. You may experience improvements in your mental clarity and your ability to problem solve usually complex tasks. Your feelings and emotions may be sharper – which can often lead to a greater ability to re-evaluate where you are headed in life.
Your relationships with others may improve because without alcohol, you can be more present and engaged. Additionally, you may find that you become more tolerant of and less reactive towards others, due to an improved ability to think clearly and rationally.
You WILL improve your mental health
Think about some of the narratives around drinking alcohol. People drink for a multitude of reasons, for example, to celebrate an event. Yet people also drink to numb emotional pain and to change their mood. Removing alcohol from your life, whether in January or beyond, can propel you to take better care of your mental health and allow you to better experience your emotions in a healthy way.
If you are drinking to numb or insulate yourself from psychological pain, it’s worth considering seeking help from a mental health professional. The Hader Clinic Queensland can help in this regard.
It’s time to change the narrative in 2022 around alcohol – and seek help if you need it.
Clever marketing has portrayed drinking alcohol as a desirable trait, however, from a health perspective, this narrative is completely false and potentially fatal for susceptible individuals.
Changing the discussion around alcohol in our society should include promoting sobriety as THE optimal lifestyle choice.
The Hader Clinic Queensland applauds the concept of engaging in a dry January and encourages everyone to consider living a sober life permanently. Why? Because there is no downside to having better emotional regulation, better health and a clearer mind!
However, if you have been drinking heavily, it may be unsafe to attempt a “cold turkey” detox from alcohol. The Hader Clinic Queensland Private hospital specialises in medical detox from alcohol and other drugs. This ensures your commitment to removing alcohol in your life is done safely and effectively.